Just the One People mean well. I know they do. But is it really necessary to start in with the ?when are you having a baby?? questions as soon as you get back from your honeymoon? And the ?is it time for #2?? inquiries while ?#1? is still breastfeeding?

I get it! People my age get married and have babies! I?m on it!

So my munchkin is almost three. And the interrogation politely curious questioning has reached an all-time high. You guys about ready for another one? When does Colt get a little sister? And, as it turns out, my answer is not what most people are expecting.

We?re done. Just the one. We have one healthy, happy, perfectly adorable child and that is really and truly all we ever hoped for. And people don?t quite know what to say to this. Some people argue with me. They start in with a list of reasons that I should have another one. How important it is to have siblings and what a tremendous blessing it is to have a large family. Other people don?t believe me. They try to use their life experience and parenting wisdom to convince me that I?ll change my mind sooner or later and we?ll end up having another baby someday. And some people just look confused, and a little shocked, and we abruptly move on to the next topic of conversation.

Why is this such a concept for people? More couples than ever are choosing to have one child, but for some reason, it still stuns people when you say it out loud. Some probably assume we have fertility challenges (we don?t), some assume we don?t like kids (we do), but I assure you most are assuming something far stranger and more complicated than the real reason for the size of our family.

It?s so simple it?s almost silly ? but here it is. We have one child because that?s what?s right for our family. Every family looks different. Think about it. Some families have two kids, some have three, some have almost twenty. Some families adopt children, and some families are blended with stepchildren and half-siblings. Some households include grandparents or other family members. And you know what ? some families don?t have kids at all. Our little family of three is not some kind of freakshow.

I have faith in my husband and myself, and our abilities to raise a confident, self-reliant, happy and secure, well-adjusted child. Which doesn?t mean that our son won?t come to us one day and ask for a baby brother or be mad and confused that he doesn?t have a sibling. And it doesn?t mean that we won?t wonder someday what it might have been like to have more than one. But this decision is right for us. It?s not a disadvantage. It?s our family. Now ? when do the questions stop?

This post has been adapted for Musings of Mother Hood. It was originally posted on Deep South Moms Blog on March 31, 2010.

4 thoughts on “Just the One

  1. We were on the fence for 4 years about whether or not to have a second child. We finally decided after a grand total of 6 years to have another one. We got plenty of questions during the interim, but the best thing is the age difference: our two kids get along great, not much fighting goes on, but it was a very hard decision to make—I’m overjoyed at the outcome—but at the time, everything just clicked with just the three of us. I’m happy that you are so strong in deciding what’s right for YOUR family, because at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters, right?

  2. They won’t ever stop. 15 years from now if you say your stomach hurts, someone will ask if you’re pregnant. I think the subconscious logic goes, you had a kid. You LIKE that kid. Why wouldn’t you, then, have ANOTHER kid? After all, if you go to Disney World and you have a good time, don’t you want to go back?

    I say good for you. Colt will get lots of attention and love, and your parenting experience will be no less fulfilling than it would be with more kids.

    One word of advice, though: you have kind of put all of your old-age care eggs in one basket, so make sure you take plenty of time to teach Colt how important it is to pamper one’s parents when they get old.

  3. If you have a way to make the questions stop…please share. I’m tired of the “when are you going to have a baby questions,” especially from people who were our age and older when they decided they were ready!

  4. My friend Michelle once said that going from one to two was like the move from owning a pet to running the whole zoo. Oh, how I know what she meant! My friends with one have lives that are, on the outside at least, more balanced, so I applaude your decision. Continue to do what works for you!

    I adore my two kids. I also know that each of us does it differently, and for some reason everyone else wants to comment (here I am, for example). It’s human. You can look at it as nosy people wanting to tell you what to do, or you can be thankful that people around you care about you and are interested in your life.

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